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processes and the way in which these thoughts may have an influence on people’s understandings, interactions with their surroundings and their behaviour. Cognitive dissonance may cause disagreements and problems at workplace such as reduction in productivity and increase in the absenteeism or turnover rate of the employees (Schermerhorn et al., 2011). Like all other theories, the cognitive theories also have their strengths and weaknesses.
This paper aims at evaluating the usefulness of cognitive theories in helping the HR practitioners. For instance, one of the strengths of cognitive theories is that they provide better understanding and knowledge on how people think. Moreover, based on the many studies done in the past, it has been observed that there are numerous positive influences of cognitive theories. This in turn has helped the cognitive theories to gain popularity since they can be used to understand the thoughts of people in relation to their reactions to their surroundings and to different situations (Bandura, 1989). However, on the other hand, cognitive theories have also faced criticism for having some weaknesses. For instance, there exists no common definition of the different cognitive theories. Nevertheless, the information provided by studying various cognitive theories has been taken into account in understanding an individual’s thoughts and reactions to their environment. This essay aims to explore the definition of cognitive theories and critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of cognitive theories in learning for the HR practitioner. Human resource management practices are influenced by cognitive theories which are based on the assumptions that internal mechanisms like motivation, creativity, intelligence etc determine human behaviour (Shermon, 2004).
Bandura (1989) presented the social learning theory according to which people acquire new information and behaviour by observing others. Bandura described learning as a social
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